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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google/ Dell Typo Results Pages

A user typed “digg.xom” instead of “” and ends up on this page...

David Ulevitch of the OpenDNS blog describes a piece of software, allegededly pre-installed on Dell computers in a Google/ Dell partnership, which shows a very special kind of (Google-hosted) results page to users who mistype a domain. This page’s top results are almost exclusively Google-powered ads – disclosed, but big enough to completely fill up smaller screens –, the name of the responsible software being “Browser Address Error Redirector” (previously “GoogleAFE”).

While David says this software “borders on being spyware,” a commenter at David’s blog argues that a “what’s this” link on the special result pages takes one to an explanation of the result as well as instructions on how to remove it, arguing “I have never seen ’spyware’ that is this transparent and user-friendly.” Another user says OpenDNS is conflicted in their attack on Google, as they rely “on typo squatting for revenue, which means that they see this as a threat to their wallet.”

Ongoing comments...

[Thanks Markus Renschler and PacificDave!]


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